Chevron Sees Australia's Gorgon Project Train 1 Restarting in 30-60 Days

Chevron Australia Pty Ltd. reported Wednesday that liquefied natural gas (LNG) production at the Gorgon Project on Barrow Island off the northwest coast of Western Australia has been temporarily halted due to mechanical issues with the propane refrigerant circuit on Train 1 at the plant site.

Start-up of Train 1 and associated infrastructure is well advanced with first LNG production achieved on March 7 and production peaking at nearly 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The first LNG cargo departed Barrow Island on March 21 and has been delivered to Chubu Electric Power in Japan today.

The propane refrigerant circuit is a closed system used to cool natural gas supplied to the plant. Work necessary to complete the repairs is ongoing while the site team continues equipment inspection and assessment. Based on initial findings, the repair work is of a routine nature and all the necessary equipment and material is available on site. A restart of the plant within 30-60 days is estimated at this time.

Train 1 ramp-up to full capacity is still expected to occur over 6 to 8 months from initial start-up of the facility. Meanwhile, construction activities continue to progress on LNG Trains 2 and 3 with timing not affected by the work on Train 1.

The Chevron-operated Gorgon Project is a joint venture between the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (47.3 percent), ExxonMobil (25 percent), Shell (25 percent), Osaka Gas (1.25 percent), Tokyo Gas (1 percent) and Chubu Electric Power (0.417 percent).

Chevron is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies and through its Australian subsidiaries, has been present in Australia for more than 60 years. With the ingenuity and commitment of thousands of workers, Chevron Australia leads the development of the Gorgon and Wheatstone natural gas projects; manages its equal one-sixth interest in the North West Shelf Venture; operates Australia’s largest onshore oilfield on Barrow Island, is a significant investor in exploration offshore Australia and provides operational support to exploration assets operated by its affiliates in New Zealand.

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B. El Wazni | Apr. 9, 2016
Chevron did not learn any lesson from Angola LNG failure. They have used the same contractor (Bechtel) who failed in a small scale LNG to build a giant LNG plant like Gorgon. Also, Chevron project team is responsible because they could have prevented this from happening if the bear the right skills and expertise. It is assumed that the equipment underwent thorough inspections (FAT&SAT) before it’s mechanical operation and the refrigerant was checked for its quality before it enters to the refrigeration system. It is hard to believe that this will occur unless you have Zero skills in place ( OR CORRUPTED MANAGERS ON SERVICE). Anyways, the cost of repairs, all associated profit losses and commitment to supply LNG buyers should be covered by the warranty from the contractor.

Bassam El Wazni | Apr. 9, 2016
Unfortunately, this is happening again in Chevron projects. I hope the shut down will not be extended more than two months as we all know that three years ago Chevron - Bechtel LNG project in Soyo (Angola ) was started for few days then shut down and until now it is not started up. news came up saying mechanical failure of some equipment then it was said a problem in the refrigerant and refrigeration circuit. Regardless of what went wrong during the operation the onus is on the project team (Chevron project and Bechtel) who is responsible for FAT& SAT inspections for the equipment. Also the quality of the refrigerant before it enters to the refrigeration system should have been tested and evaluated by the project team. So if all this has been done then chevron is suffering from expertise and skills problem and will continue to suffer until the whole company goes offline.


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